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Adventures in Space and Time

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1995-10 TV Zone p14.jpg


HEAD GAMES, Steve Lyons's latest New Adventure, is a sequel to 1993's Conundrum. Did he always intend to write a sequel? "No, it only came about when I finished Conundrum. I was thinking about what could send in next, and Head Games was just one of the ideas I had — even before I'd thought of Tune of Your Life — but I wasn't sure whether it would be possible to write a sequel without setting it in the Land of Fiction. Then I decided to go ahead with the characters of Doctor Who and the new Master of the Land of Fiction and it just started to work."

Head Games features all of the Seventh Doctor's companions, including the return of both Ace and Mel. Why did Steve bring them back? "Head Games went through a load of rewrites because the line-up of companions kept changing. At one point it even included Holmes and Watson! But Mel was always going to be a 'guest star', and I finally decided to go with the idea of having all of the Seventh Doctor's companions."

One theme of the book is that of the Doctor's being evil. Did Steve think that? "Not evil, no; but I wanted to address the way that he's become gradually darker. The biggest change is that, whereas he once lectured about the sanctity of life, everything's now on a much larger scale, such as destroying seven planets to save the universe. That's another reason why I wanted all of his companions: I wanted to show all of their reactions, from Mel's being completely against him to Forrester's total support. Head Games is the Doctor's past versus his present, eventually showing that they are both as good, and as bad, as each other."

And the future? "A Missing Adventure with the Sixth Doctor. Set immediately after lime of Your Life, it features Grant, the Doctor's companion from that book. They return to his home planet and find it crawling with Cybermen. And, unlike Head Games, I did have this sequel in mind when I wrote Time of Your Life." AFTER tackling the Fifth Doctor in The Crystal Bucephalus, Craig Hinton's latest Missing Adventure, Millennial Rites, features the controversial pairing of the Sixth Doctor and Mel. Why them? "Originally, it was the Second Doctor, Jamie and Victoria, but Victoria's role was too similar to that in Marc Platt's Downtime. But, since the core idea was the Doctor's character darkening without his realizing it, the concept of the Valeyard made the Sixth Doctor ideal, and Mel followed on from there."

But isn't the Valeyard 'banned' by Virgin? "Definitely! I think Rebecca Levene [the series' editor] was so sick and tired of my going on about him that she only commissioned the book to shut me up! Then again, it's never made clear whether it actually is the Valeyard, or the result of the Doctor's fear of becoming him."

Bonnie Langford's Mel came under a lot of fire at the time. How did Craig view her? "Someone in the book calls Mel 'a sanctimonious old prude', and there is a touch of that. But I really see her as a woman of high moral values, who looks for, and expects, the best from everybody. But the book is a learning process for all involved, and she definitely mellows by the end of it. Also, the setting of the novel helped: the period between The Trial of a Time Lord and Time and the Rani is a blank as far as the series is concerned. By Millennial Rites, they've been together for quite a while and are very close."

Mel appears in, and on the cover of, this month's New Adventure as well. Was this deliberate? "Steve Lyons and I had a long chat back in January about the two books. Because both Millennial Rites and Head Gaines deal with the Doctor's dark side, but from two different angles, before and after, we've tried to include a few links between them. But Mel's presence in both was a happy coincidence!'

What next? "A New Adventure called GodEngine, set on Mars during The Dalek Invasion of Earth. With some very old enemies..."

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  • APA 6th ed.: Lynch, Antony (issue 71 (October 1995)). Adventures in Space and Time. TV Zone p. 14.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Lynch, Antony. "Adventures in Space and Time." TV Zone [add city] issue 71 (October 1995), 14. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Lynch, Antony. "Adventures in Space and Time." TV Zone, edition, sec., issue 71 (October 1995)
  • Turabian: Lynch, Antony. "Adventures in Space and Time." TV Zone, issue 71 (October 1995), section, 14 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Adventures in Space and Time | url= | work=TV Zone | pages=14 | date=issue 71 (October 1995) | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=4 December 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Adventures in Space and Time | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=4 December 2023}}</ref>